The terms 'Islamism', 'Salafism' and 'Jihadism' have acquired common currency in recent years, often being interchanged and applied to describe various forms of Muslim religiosity considered undesirable. But what do these terms mean? Why do Muslim religious conservatism and radicalisation appear to be on the rise in the UK? And what long-term impact could this have on British society? In this path-breaking study, Sadek Hamid explores the impact of three globally influential religious paradigms on the faith identity formation of British Muslims. The author traces the unwritten story of the evolution of Sufi, Salafi and Islamist activism in Britain, focusing on the legacies of the Young Muslims UK, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Salafi-oriented trends and the neo-Sufi 'Traditional Islam' network.
Hamid explains how they participate in collective faith-based activism, develop solidarities with transnational political struggles and differentiate claims over religious authenticity, scholarly authority and group priorities. He also illustrates how these movements gained and lost support, related to foreign ideologies and developed models of British Muslim identity. Sufis, Salafis and Islamists offers a compelling account of the complexity that underlies reductionist media narratives of Islamic activism in the UK. It is essential reading for scholars and students of Muslims in Britain, and an important point of reference for research on Islamic communities in other Western societies.
Hamid joined us at IHRC Bookshop to talk about the book. Watch it here.